Monday, September 15, 2008

New Day #263

As evidenced by yesterday's entry, I'm not much for peaceful, zen-like experiences. What gets me excited is information--and lots of it. So I totally geeked out on today's New Thing--The Hat Museum, which is the largest collection of hats in North America.

Fun facts included:

Each pleat in a chef's hat represents a different way of preparing eggs. Until you've mastered them all you cannot wear the hat, which is essentially your diploma.

The term "mad hatter" comes from the hatmakers who went mad from too much exposure to mercury, which was used in the process until well into the 20th century.

The term "milliner" comes from the fact that the best hats originated in Milan. Therefore, a lady always wanted to buy her hat from a Milaner.

The inventor of the top hat caused such a stir when he stepped out of his shop wearing one in 1797, he was arrested for disturbing the peace.

Top hats were originally made from beaver, which would have gone extinct were it not for an Englishman who travelled to China and needed to replace his hat, so the hatters there made it out silk, setting a new trend. In essence, the silkworm saved the beaver from extinction.

Seriously, I could go on all day about this kind of stuff.

Here's me and my hat loving dad in the hats we bought in the gift shop. The museum's founder is wearing an Edwardian hat which went out of style in the teens with the advent of open-aired automobiles.

Sorry, couldn't resist sneaking in one more factoid.


David said...

My grandmother was a milliner.

Greg said...

I just love those little facts. You never know when they'll come in handy.